And Mao For Something Completely Different

These days, say the word “China” and most people say “How high?” – an indication that many people think “China” means “jump.”
But in this case it refers to a country. A country that is far larger than I’d expected, filled with many people, and takes much longer to get to than I’d like. But it’s a country you can get to in style – with an in-seat TV – by squandering all your accumulated mileage on Virgin Airlines.
Once the United States runs out of steam and implodes, China may very well become the dominant World Superpower. They’ll take the reins as World Policeman and Global Puppetmaster. When that day comes, people the world over will recall with fondness the days when the U.S. was the Big Man On Campus – a clumsy but loveable giant who meant well but was somewhat retarded, stumbling about and stepping on things and hugging puppies to death. But then it will be too late.
This trip is a fact-finding mission of sorts, wherein I hope to find answers to a few questions:
If they’re running our nail salons, dry cleaners and Qi Gong massage joints, who’s running theirs?
Is the General Tso I know and love the same, or is he a whole chicken, bone-full and hacked?
Will their 30,000 internet police be able to intercept blog postings too?

This trip will take us off the beaten path to many places not found in the mundane tour books: Bok Choi, Cling Rap, Cheep Toi, Ping Pong and Copyright Infringement City.
Dispatches when there’s internet to allow it. In the meantime, please feel free to peruse these recommended books.